Football opens 2010 campaign on Saturday at Old Dominion
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With 13 minutes left in the game, the JU football team held a 27-14 lead over Old Dominion at D.B. Milne Field. In what was a precursor of things to come, the Monarchs rallied in the final minutes for the first road win in their program’s young history, 28-27.

These two teams meet again in the 2010 season opener with the Dolphins seeking a different final result. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m., with the game being broadcast on 1010XL as Barry Milligan will call the action live from Foreman Field. The Bono’s Barbecue Pregame Show will kick off the game’s coverage at 5:30 p.m.

“We’re ready to get on the field and hit somebody else,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “We’ve had a really good camp this year. Our defense has made a lot of progress and our offense is coming together.”

The late rally by Old Dominion was the first of three fourth quarter rallies that the Dolphins would see in 2009, as JU held at least a six-point lead in the fourth quarter of every game but one.

“Our guys know that we let a championship slip through our hands last season,” Bell said. “We’ve worked a lot on our conditioning in the offseason and feel like that if we’re in the same positions again this season, we’ll be better equipped to handle those situations.”

Jacksonville enters the season having recorded back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in program history, sporting a 16-8 record during that span.

One of Bell’s trademarks since taking the reins at JU has been winning the season opener. He’s 2-1 in the first game of the season at Jacksonville, winning the last two and having opened each season on the road.

TO THE SKIES: The Dolphins will be making their first of four flight trips this season, but it is also the first of three “Air Raids” to be made by Jacksonville. The team will leave campus at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning for the Jacksonville International Airport and fly to Norfolk, Va., coming back after the game. The Dolphins will also fly the morning of the game to Valparaiso and Morehead State.

RUNNING RUDELL: Senior running back Rudell Small, a candidate for the Walter Payton Award, has been banged up through fall camp but is expected to be ready to go for the season opener at Old Dominion. Small had 95 yards on 24 carries against the Monarchs last season and will be seeking the 14th 100-yard rushing performance of his record setting career.

RECORD WATCH: Junior quarterback Josh McGregor comes into the season opener trailing Mike Sturgill by 37 for the school record for most completions in a career. McGregor has racked up 350 in his first two seasons in only 620 attempts. He needs 139 attempts to own the school record in that category as well. His current completion percentage of 56.5 would shatter the previous record of 51.1 set by Sturgill.

EXTRA COVERAGE ON SATURDAY: For the Dolphin fans that want to watch the game on the Internet, Old Dominion will be broadcasting the game and we will provide a link on Saturday at will also be hosting a live blog with editor Joel Lamp, starting at 10 a.m.